Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Oh, the shame

What would you do if you tried to rob a store, and encountered a yelling employee. Would you back down? Continue with your plan? Either way, it's fairly safe to say that you probably wouldn't call the police on yourself.

And that's why we love Japan. Stuff like that actually will happen there.

Admittedly, part of the problem for the robber was that the woman yelling at him was much older than him. She also proceeded to ask him what he was doing, which was probably a fair question to ask anyone who plans to rob a store with a stick. The man was so ashamed of his actions that he left empty-handed, wandered a short distance away, and called the police to turn himself in.

Now, it's probably safe to assume that, if something like this had happened in America, we'd be looking at an entirely different story. Not only could we expect that the crook wouldn't have turned themselves in, but they probably wouldn't have been content to leave without even a little money.

Of course, they also probably would have been carrying more than a wooden stick, but that's besides the point. Again, this story makes us love Japan a little more.

At least, until they shoot firecrackers up their nose.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A taste for crime

Living in Massachusetts must do strange things to people. How else do you explain the entire Kennedy clan, Red Sox fans, or that whole incident a couple hundred years back with the tea?

More specifically, how do you explain the armed robbery of a hot dog?

No, the crook wasn't stealing from a hot dog, or even from a hot dog stand. He was stealing from a hot dog eater, and what he was interested in was that tasty combination of animal leftovers that we see populate sporting events, school lunches, and jokes about hallways.

Even weirder, the man who stole the hot dog didn't even really get away. Instead, he made a point of "devouring" the hot dog, and making a mess of his shirt with dripping mustard. By doing so, he actually found a way to make the crime even more bizarre than the original combination of hot dog and pellet gun.

It's almost too bad that the guy wasn't carrying a gun loaded like the ones from the movie "Airheads". He could have probably used the tabasco sauce to help power down the hot dog. Or at least he could have totally gotten away with mental incompetence.

At least, he could until he went on to star in a movie about being the Devil's son.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Goose roll-up

We had to tackle two stories today. Partly because we have the attention span of a gnat, and partly because we see both stories as being just ridiculous enough for inclusion. After all, what else were we supposed to do with a story about a guy beating up a goose statue, and a story about people stealing Fruit Roll-ups?

Let's tackle the second story first. So the police were called because a homeowner felt that their house was broken into. By teens who at first claimed to know the woman's niece. Oh, and the teens also stole fruit juice, and may have been high at the time. Sure, there's some information about them taking jewelry, too, but that's not important to the story (obviously, look at the headline). If these kids really were stoned, well, it does seem to make sense as to why the theft involved a beverage and tasty fruit snacks. Besides, they probably didn't want to take a lot of time to look for Mountain Dew and Doritos.

Now, moving on to the first story, how drunk do you have to be to decide that you need to take out your aggressions on a statue? Wait, take that back. How drunk do you have to be to decide that you need to take out your aggressions on a statue of a goose, just because it's a goose? Most of the world will never know, but a Salt Lake City man found that elusive level over the weekend. With the level of alcohol needed to even start planning this type of assault, we're just going to assume that perhaps this individual wasn't even aware that it was a statue he was punching and kicking.

As for his anger towards the goose? Maybe he's like Batman, and a goose destroyed his family. Or maybe he was just tired of all the honking.

Or it could be that they stole his Fruit Roll-ups.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Coffee-Soaked Awards - Week of September 21, 2009

It's finally arrived, folks. The summer has ended, and with it, we've been saddled with the crush of fall colors, autumn-themed food items, and the crisp snap to the air that brings an extra awareness to the world. Hey, we'll take it. After all, it isn't winter. So let's start out our awards!

Brilliant! Award
Just a quick moment to say "Happy Birthday" to Guinness beer. Signing a 9000-year lease may have seemed crazy at the time, but we'd have to imagine that the company is going to be locked in to a pretty good rate for the remaining 8750 years.

A Fairy Nice Tree Award
If you live in Denver, you may wake up one morning with something new in your front yard. No, nothing disgusting, unless you really don't like trees. It's all the work of a Tree Fairy, who has taken it upon themselves to plant a number of trees in their neighborhood. Needless to say, the Tree Fairy is much more welcome than the Shattered Egg Fairy, or the Toilet Paper Fairy.

Crash Poof Award
A woman in Indianapolis recently awoke to find her kitchen missing. Well, it wasn't quite missing, but the car that had rammed into her house was. This is exactly why teleportation is still not available to the common person, and also why we don't have nice things.

Necroporn Debt Award
Okay, so it's not really a death-porn debt that we're talking about. The actual situation is weirder, as a woman in Austin took money from a dead body to recover debt for the porn that she'd sold him. Yes, while he was alive. No word on whether this is simply marketing for a new line of zombie movies.

A Little Too Effective Award
Isn't it sad when a school throws a lockdown, and nobody attends? Well, maybe sad isn't right. Maybe it's a good thing, because the point of a lockdown is to ensure student safety, and if the kids aren't at the school, they're probably away from the danger. Next week, the school plans on holding a fire drill on Saturday.

Scratching Takes Too Long Award
A robber in Georgia might be a little ashamed after getting home with their prize from a convenience store. After all, how many uses can you think of for already used lottery tickets? On the flip side, the burglar will get to see what other people won, and dream.

Hey Larry? About Your Gun Award
While it seems like stories about armed robberies appear in the news all the time, it isn't every day that a story includes the quote, "Please give me the gun back. It's not my gun," as a part of the retelling of the incident. That's what makes today, and this story from North Carolina, special. This crook is probably the neighbor who doesn't give back your garden shears, either.

And that wraps up our awards for another week. Stay safe out there.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Was it left on the pillow?

Hotels often see thefts. More specifically, they often see thefts of the items left out for guests to use during their stay. How many people have at the very least a hotel towel? And, of course, there's the frequent hotel bathrobes being worn far from the hotel that they are purported to be from.

Well, a couple of English hotels seem to be having a relatively unique problem. While they're still losing linens, they're also seeing lighting fixtures disappear. But that's not all, either. Apparently rentable sex toys also find their way into travel bags.

Yes, you read that correctly. In at least one hotel in Bath, England, people would be given the opportunity to rent a sex toy for their stay. We can only hope that they were properly sanitized before being passed on to the next individual. Still, we also can't imagine just what it would take for people to decide to keep the offering. After all, you may have a vague idea of where it's been, but you don't really know where it's been.

While we will admit that there are times when a level of absentmindedness comes into play, that excuse probably isn't going to fly as well when you're dealing with sex toys. Even if it is true that it was a totally accident packing mistake, would you really want to admit that you travel with toys often enough to get confused as to whether one is yours or not.

And to think, in America we just have to deal with "Magic Finger" beds.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Bringing nerdy back

Folks, we love it when people take time out of their busy lives to find a way to create something that is going to make things easier for all of us. Even better if these items can be created in such a way as to be functional as clothing as well. After all, clothes just don't do quite enough, generally stopping at merely keeping us covered and warmer.

But we've got to wonder why people would really need a tie to hold their iPod.

After all, most of the time when people wear ties, they're wearing them with button-down shirts. Said shirts quite often have pockets. They might also be wearing a tie with a coat or a blazer, which again would provide pockets.

So does a tie really need to have pockets of its own? How about extra fabric to keep the earphone cords closely concealed? Is this really the best usage of creative talent?

Although we have to admit that these ties will make it a lot easier to listen to Shakira during that extremely long board meeting. Maybe we'll start seeing more businessmen with bushy beards, to further conceal the earphone cords.

Or maybe we'll just see these ties worn by hipsters, to match their fedoras and t-shirts. Yeah, that second option is more likely.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Good luck with that

We have to applaud the French. Yes, it may seem weird, but they've taken some stands in the past that have actually been logical, or at least bold, and they've often done it before many other countries. Just look at the way they deal with Scientology.

Well, now they've turned their gaze on the fashion industry, and specifically on photos of models. Some French legislators would like to see warning labels attached to photos that have been altered. Or, as we like to call it, every photo of a model in existence.

In all honesty, though, the French are more specifically looking at the photos that are changed to present a completely unrealistic body image. With already thin models being turned into even thinner pictures, and a level of unhealthy eating across the planet, it only makes sense. After all, look at the huge outpouring of support when more realistic models are featured. Of course, those realistic models are still thinner than the average person, but because they appear to actually eat, they are considered plus-size, and they aren't often shown on the glossy pages of magazines. Perhaps if more "real" women were featured in these magazine spreads, we might start seeing less of an insistence on people damaging themselves all in the effort to reach a completely impossible silhouette.

Besides, it might not be bad for people to realize that all their favorite stars benefit at least from a little airbrushing. Heaven forbid we find out that the stars occasionally have oily skin and acne.

Monday, September 21, 2009

About time

Far too often, when politicians get around to stepping into a situation, the average person has already decided that they've had enough. So it should come as no surprise to learn that government is finally considering stepping into another potential mess of a situation. And once again, their focus is internal, within our own borders.

More to the point, though, it's towards an institution that they're already very familiar with. It seems that Congress isn't too keen on the overdraft fees charged by banks.

Admittedly, this is a Congress that took the credit card companies to task for their business practices, and attacked mortgage lenders for being predatory, so it only makes sense that banks would find themselves on the short list. By the same token, people should really do a better job keeping a better eye on their own accounts, so as to hopefully avoid said charges. Obviously if people don't go negative with their accounts, they can't get charged.

That being said, it's probably for the best that there's at least consideration being given to someone stepping in, hopefully to start advocating for the consumer. Whether that stepping in is a more real-time example of people's financial situations, or just changing the order in which charges are applied remains to be seen. After all, while banks do need to see some sort of a profit, it probably shouldn't be coming entirely from people making mistakes with their money.

Of course, without the charges, imagine how bad the bailout might have been. And it's not like the government could charge $35 each time the bank made a mistake.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Our bad

You know, it isn't every day that a government agency releases an apology to an entire demographic.

It also isn't every day that a government agency makes a blanket statement regarding said demographic and possible drug connections.

Let's just hope that the US Forest Service has learned their lesson.

It all goes to Colorado, where the Forest Service was concerned about armed drug growers. So they did the appropriate thing, by warning campers of the potential danger. The problem? The drug growers were described as people who "eat tortillas, drink Tecate beer and play Spanish music".

Yeah, we can't imagine why any Hispanic community would be upset by that, either.

Seriously, though, while the description may very well have been completely true with regards to the growers that the government was watching out for, it doesn't make their statement a good idea by a long shot. What else could they possibly have included to make it even worse? Should they have talked about the darker hair and ruddier complexions? Possibly mentioned that the armed growers might have spoken Spanish, or that they preferred soccer players with unibrows (okay, so that might have been a low shot)?

Perhaps they could have gone in the exact opposite direction, and instead of being incredibly vague, they could have tried to give some specifics. You know, as a change of pace for a government agency.

Monday, September 14, 2009

What could go wrong?

Sometimes, marketing schemes end up striking on brilliant ideas, without a single potential flaw to the concept. More often, though, something that could cause the whole thing to fall apart could escape notice, and an idea that could offend or cause problems is allowed to sneak through. And then, of course, are the ideas that should never have been greenlit in the first place, but somehow were able to make it past people with a better sense of judgement.

We're speaking today about that third type of idea, specifically as it applies to bars and breathalyzers. One could assume that a bar using such a device might be doing so to make sure that their patrons are able to drive home safely. Not the case for a bar in Newcastle, England, as they're instead using the breathalyzer as a test to see if their customers had enough to drink.

No, seriously, that's the exact reason. Want proof? If you don't get drunk, you get your bar tab refunded to you. While we can sort of admire that kind of dedication to follow through on your job, there are times where the public well-being and overall health of others should probably be seen as being somewhat more important than whether or not you were able to get beyond blitzed. Mind you, there are still plenty of bars that go out of their way to comp anyone who's a designated driver, but those bars aren't actively encouraging people to get drunk enough to possibly win a free night on the town, by registering a higher blood alcohol level than anyone else.

Maybe the customers are just trying to wash away the taste of the food.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Coffee-Soaked Awards - Week of September 7, 2009

Here we sit at the end of another week. Much like other weeks, weirdness seemed to prevail, but it can never be bad when some bugs and a number reign supreme at the end of it all. So let's move on to our awards.

Traffic Offensive Award
Just because you drive a van, it doesn't mean you have to take it out on anyone else. Least of all, a sheriff's deputy. No word on whether the van was driven by meddling kids or not.

Do As I, Um Award
This may come as a no-brainer to a lot of people, but when you set yourself up as an anti-drug voice, you should probably shouldn't grow your own. The grower was totally going to keep himself out of anti-drug commercials, but he got high.

Ready, Fire, Aim Award
Tear gas can be a wonderful tool, helping police avoid more serious situations. Unfortunately for some Pennsylvania police, it isn't nearly as effective when shot into the wrong house. An apologetic fruit basket is being sent next door.

She Was Going to Fight Back Award
Often, we applaud the police for using non-lethal means of controlling a suspect. However, when that suspect is a 61-year-old woman, and the police are using pepper spray, we have to agree with the thought of firing those responsible. In the officer's defense, it was the only way to keep her from offering him a hard candy.

Beware the Butt Award
We all know just how dangerous wild butts can be. But did you know how dangerous they could be when in proximity to a cell phone? No, the article wasn't just an excuse to show a picture of young women's backsides. No, seriously. Stop even suggesting it. This is a serious topic. Butt dialing could be the end of us all. Okay, fine, go back to looking at the jeans.

You Know Who Else Ran a Daycare? Award
Apparently, having Nazi imagery in your house while running a daycare just isn't a good way to keep your business open. It would also be a good idea to avoid militant Flemish materials. What's next, no more open salutes to Stalin? How will the kids learn?

Kids Being Kids Award
In a shocking turn of events, news is breaking about a high school football team using a sexual hand gesture in a team picture. In other breaking developments, water is wet, oxygen is necessary for human life, and old people are old.

Well, that wraps up our awards for yet another week. We'll catch you on the other side of the weekend. Stay safe out there.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A minor reduction

There is a long-standing tradition amongst convicts to ask for reduced sentences or to try and get their parole hearings to happen earlier. This is one of the many things that sets Charles Manson apart from the rest of his compatriots, as he continues to fight against the system that wants to consider releasing him.

Thankfully, there are others willing to pick up the mantle, like the 84-year-old woman serving 100 years in prison for decapitating her husband.

In many ways, a reduced sentence makes sense. After all, the woman has been in prison already for almost thirty of those years, and it's not likely that she's going to be released before her death anyways. So what's the harm in knocking a couple of decades off of the sentence? If the jails are really concerned that she's going to go out and decapitate again, the first thing they could do is keep her from ever seeing a parole board. The second thing, of course, would be to stop providing her calcium and vitamins, and instead let her body deteriorate, but that definitely starts crossing into cruel territory.

Honestly, though, at this point, we see little reason to not allow her to get a reduced sentence. Unless, of course, she's really just been laying in wait, and is preparing to unleash her plan to finally age backwards, like Benjamin Button.

Think of how quickly Hollywood would snatch up the rights to that story.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Love at first crime

We've talked before about our love for criminals that don't really seem to fire on all cylinders. Well, we may have just found someone who is willing to stand up as the gold standard for stupidity when breaking the law.

After all, how often do you hear about a robber returning to the scene of the crime so that he could ask out one of his victims?

What was possibly going through his mind? Was he thinking that she had really good taste in DVDs? That maybe he had a shot, because of the oft-believed notion that all women prefer bad boys? Or maybe it was a special spark while he was able to simultaneously show that he could provide for her, as long as she didn't mind where the money came from.

Meanwhile, it should be noted that the crook's two accomplices remain at large. Probably because they weren't sure at the time if their victim had any sisters that they could be introduced to.

And this is why you should be careful while picking your wingmen.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Getting a hobby

It's good to see that people are finding ways to pass their time. While we certainly don't understand all of the different things made into hobbies, we definitely support them. After all, we'd much rather people find bizarre things to do that are relatively harmless, especially if the alternative borders on violence.

And we can't stress enough that there are things we don't understand, like some of the activities from our neighboring state. After all, how many other places are there cricket-spitting competitions?

Okay, so maybe there are a lot of states that have such competitions, but that doesn't make it any easier to wrap our heads around it. Not that we don't have our own brand of bizarre activities, but we just can't picture sticking crickets into our mouth to see how far we can propel them through the air. Even more to the point, we can't see ourselves being so dedicated to the act that we would develop a fairly sure winning technique, only to share that technique with a local paper.

Naturally, we do have to assume that the crickets are no longer living, otherwise there would be a chance that one might take flight, and just throw off the whole competition. Apparently watermelon seeds just don't cut it anymore.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Coffee-Soaked Awards - Week of August 31, 2009

Well, this week got itself off to a strange, but we've almost grown to expect those kind of things during state fair times. But we got ourselves back on track, just in time for the upcoming Labor Day weekend. Let's knock these awards off of our "To Do" list, so we can be left with picking up grillables and beer.

Not What We Meant Award
Every once in a while, parents will get together and request that their children be taught about religion. In Canada, this has resulted in students being taught about many different religions, which has angered some Christian parents. After all, we all know that being presented with beliefs other than your own means that yours are being actively dismantled.

Pot? Meet Kettle Award
Saudi Arabian rulers have stepped forward into the news, in the face of PresO's attempts to push green energy. The Saudi contention? Basically, that the US is addicted to oil. Which is largely true, but only because cocaine and marijuana don't power our vehicles anywhere near as well.

Beware Skinny Thighs Award
The thighs are coming. The thighs are coming! And they're going to kill us all. Well, apparently, the thinner your thighs, the higher your likelihood of having cardiovascular problems. Oddly, the exact opposite problem in thighs can show a similarly increasing likelihood of problems, especially if you can attribute them to a state fair diet.

Alien Messiah Award
If you believe that Jesus Christ regularly shows up in potato chips, loaves of bread, swirls of paint, or other mundane items, you might be interested in recent photos from NASA. The photos may display Big JC on the surface of Mars. We see shifting sands, but we do have to admit, the guy probably wants a vacation after all that time in a Pringles can.

Don't Bring a ___ to a ____ Fight Award
This time, the first blank is baseball bat, and the second blank is sword. Interestingly enough, the bat wielder was able to land a cut on the sword wielder. Curse those sharpened bats.

Accidents Happen Award
While accidents do happen, we're not sure on the frequency of a recent accident in Pennsylvania. After all, it certainly isn't every day that we hear about a cannonball being shot into someone's house, and it's even less likely that the situation was unintentional. But that seems to be the case in Uniontown. Because who's got two thumbs and doesn't know to keep the cannon pointed away from homes? That guy.

Got Another One Award
You know you're doing something right in the world of news parody when your article gets picked up by international papers. It's happened again with The Onion, thanks to an article about the moon landing being faked. Besides, everyone knows that the true breaking news ends up with either The Turnip or The Radish.

Well, that wraps up our awards for yet another week. Enjoy the long Labor Day weekend, and, for all intents and purposes, bid summer goodbye. We'll see you next week. Stay safe out there.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Glad that's cleared up

Honestly, people? Could you start making it a little less obvious that you're wasting money when it comes to college studies? Sure, sometimes good things and previously unknown information come out of those studies. But there's just a few too many times where the most obvious details are just brought to greater light.

Take, for example, the recent research, as it pertains to college students and drinking. Did you know that college students are more likely to drink more if they can get the drinks for cheaper? Amazing, isn't it? We can't be positive, but we'd bet that the correlation between drink prices and amount imbibed might just carry outside of college, too.

Seriously, this is the best study that these guys could come up with? More to the point, this is the kind of study that gets research dollars? We still don't have a cure for cancer, but we know now that, if you raise the price on a mixed drink, people might not have as many.

Well thank goodness for that information. Obviously, without this level of in-depth research, we could never have reached this conclusion. In fact, up until the results were published, we were pretty sure that more expensive drinks actually increased the likelihood of people getting drunk. After all, money is an unlimited resource, so higher prices must correlate directly to higher alcohol content in the consumer.

Even more shocking, it seems like there's a chance that bars haven't even gotten this message. After all, they continue to offer drink specials, almost like they're trying to lure what few dollars many college students have into their cash registers.

What's the next study? Alcohol, combined with loud music and darkened clubs, makes it more likely for college students to have poorly planned affairs?

Wait, we shouldn't say anything. We might get money to research that.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

You shouldn't have

People will say "You shouldn't have" for many different reasons. Sometimes it's due to a poor gift. Other times, the reason people give is simply due to a really bad idea. And today, we've actually got a number of examples to highlight instances were people really shouldn't have.

Take, for example, the gift of a water heater. Sure, it sounds sweet and fairly thoughtful. Well, at least it sounds that way when you discount the entire "stolen from someone's basement" portion of the transaction.

How do you imagine that exchange went? Do you think that the time was taken to wrap up the water heater? Did the recipient express their joy over receiving a gift that they'd always wanted? On the plus side, the heater hadn't been installed as of yet, so it's not like it was leaking water all over the street, but we're still fairly certain that a gift of something on that level might be met with suspicion. Besides, everyone we know would really rather pick out their own water heater, so that it matches their decor.

So that's one example of something that "shouldn't have" happened. Another example? Blaming the Large Hadron Collider for your sex tape. Of course, this whole situation was made worse by the fact that the involved parties decided to distribute the recording around their school. It probably didn't help that, almost undoubtedly, some of the recipients hadn't had the necessary sex education classes to really make heads or tails of the recording.

Oh yeah. It should also be mentioned that these kids engaged in these recorded sex acts during the school day. Nevermind that we're not even sure that most 13-year-old kids should be able to comprehend the potential disaster that the LHC represented. Obviously these kids are ready for a more adult lesson plan, and they may prove to be remarkable quantum physicists. Just so long as they can keep their clothes on.

There you go. Two examples for you. Just think of it as our little way of trying to make up for the missing days.

We know... we shouldn't have.